‘Purple Fest 2023, Celebrating Diversity’ – will be organised from 6th to 8th January, 2023 at Entertainment Society of Goa, Panaji. The event will be jointly-organised by State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (PwD), Goa, in collaboration with Directorate of Social Welfare and Entertainment Society of Goa. Included in the Purple Fest 2023 programme, are various sports events. Special Olympics events consists of All-India Open Para Table Tennis Championship, Unified Beach Cricket, Blind Cricket and Purple I-Run Marathon, states a press release.
“Sports is huge in our country. And with 2.5-5 % of PwD population, it is imperative to promote sports for this large community. The three days of sports will see events like— All India Open Para Table Tennis Championship, Unified Beach Cricket, Blind Cricket and Purple I-Run Marathon being held as the first-ever national level championships for PwDs hosted by the government of Goa,” said Guruprasad Pawaskar, State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, Goa.
Para Table Tennis is one of the most unique sport discipline on the Para Sports programme, wherein players are categorised into 10 classifications based on the impairment as follows: Para Table Tennis players in classes 1-5 compete in a wheelchair, Para Table Tennis players in classes 6-10 compete in a standing position.
Unified Beach Cricket is being introduced for the first time in India. Beach cricket is a relaxed variation of the game that can be played by anyone who wants to. Everyone is free to make up their own rules as they go, making it a great game for families and friends.
Blind Cricket is a version of the sport of cricket adapted for blind and partially sighted players. Blind cricket relies on the ‘sweep shot,’ which is commonly used to increase the chances of the bat hitting the ball.
Purple I-Run Goa Marathon is Goa’s First National Marathon for 21 types of disabilities. This marathon aims to promote inclusiveness and acceptability of the people with disabilities in our society. The people with disabilities will be running together with the normal runners in all age categories.
“During Purple Fest, Special Olympics will be conducting Unified Beach Cricket which will be played at Miramar Beach on 3rd January. There will be demonstration of the Baggo and Bocce game on 6th January at Inox. It’s a great feeling to have the Unified Beach Cricket, being introduced for the first time in India here at Purple Fest,” says Victor R. Vaz, National Sports Director, Special Olympics Bharat and co-ordinator of Unified Beach Cricket.
“Para TT has been a sport that has brought Para players in the limelight for success. It has been seen that playing Para TT is beneficial for one’s mind and body stimulation, coordination. Mental alertness and concentration and develops mental acuity and keeps your brain sharp. I am delighted to be contributing to Purple Fest and urge all to come and cheer Para Players,” says Sudesh Gaude, Assistant Professor in Psychiatric Social Work at Institute of Psychiatry and Human Behaviour Bambolim-Goa and moderator at Purple Fest All India Open Para Table Tennis Championship Goa.
“This is one of the best events that is happening in Goa. Disability has and will be converted to visibility through such a wonderful initiative. I appreciate and hail Minister for Social Welfare Subhash Phaldesai for giving impetus to Purple Fest with utmost importance and dedication,” says Yeshwant Nageshkar, captain of Goa Blind Cricket Team.
“Purple I-Run Goa Marathon which is Goa’s First National Marathon for 21 types of disabilities. It is a half marathon event which will be held at Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Stadium, Bambolim on Sunday, 8th January’2023. This marathon aims to promote inclusiveness and acceptability of people with disabilities in our society. The people with disabilities will be running together with the normal runners in all age categories,” says Praveen Maurya, Director-I-Help Foundation.